New Delhi: Violation of norms seem to be common in the ongoing nursery admissions in Delhi, as many schools are openly flouting the guidelines laid down by the Directorate of Education despite the government warning of punitive action against erring schools.
   
Many schools are forcing parents to buy prospectus at a price as high as Rs 500, while others are allegedly screening income and educational qualifications of parents.
   
Certain schools have stopped sale and submission of application forms before the January 16 last date and some have even tinkered with seat reservation meant for various categories, including the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), parents alleged.
 
Biswanath Dash, a south Delhi resident trying to secure a nursery seat for his son in a reputed school, says he was taken for a ride by a school of that area.
   
Dash, a Central government officer, said he had visited a reputed school in Safdarjung area three days after the admission process had begun, but was told that the nursery branch is located in Vasant Kunj.
   
"After reaching there, I found that forms had already been sold," he said.
   
"When I drew their attention towards the DoE guidelines, they told me I better approach DoE for forms," he said.
   
Ranjeet Kumar, another harassed father, alleged that a top school in Dwarka has been forcing parents to buy prospectus for Rs 500 along with the application forms.
   
"When I referred to the DoE guidelines, they told me that was not for them and I am free to complain," he posted on online parents' forum admissionsnursery.com.
   
Another parent, who bought a form from a school in Pitampura, said the school is asking income and educational qualifications not only of the child's parents but also of grandparents -- both maternal and paternal.
   
"This is a brazen example of how serious the schools in Delhi are in abiding the established norms. The government has to wake up and take a look at the ground reality," says Sumit Vohra, founder of the admissionsnursery.com.
   
However, when contacted, the school officials rejected these allegations, insisting there has been no violation of guidelines.

Another reputed school in the city has reserved only 15 percent seats for students belonging to EWS category instead of keeping aside 25 percent for them, as per DoE guidelines.
   
"This is a grave violation by the school. The DoE and the government of Delhi have to wake up and see what is going on," said Ashok Agarwal of NGO 'Social Jurist', which is considering filing a Public Interest Litigation against the school in the High Court.
   
The NGO has already filed a PIL in Delhi High Court seeking a direction on making KG as the entry level instead of nursery and increasing the age limit for admission from three years to four years. The Court will hear the issue on January 18.
   
Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has recently said that the government has issued notices to three defence force run schools -- Naval Public School, Air Force
Bal Bharati School and Army Public School -- for allegedly failing to comply with Right To Education (RTE) norms and for not specifying the percentage of civilian seats allotted in these institutes.    

A total of 137 complaints were received from parents with regard to nursery admissions in various schools and more than 50 percent of it were attended to, he said.
   
The complaints pertained to charging of higher prices for admission forms and refusal to issue and accept forms from weaker sections.

(Agencies)